Aug 07 2019 - 08:34
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Tunisian defense minister Zbidi submits bid to run for president

Tunisian Defense Minister Abdelkarim Zbidi submitted his candidacy for a presidential Lebanon, news ,lbci ,أخبار Elections,Tunisia,Tunisian Defense Minister Abdelkarim Zbidi submitted his candidacy for a presidential
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Tunisian defense minister Zbidi submits bid to run for president
Lebanon News

Tunisian Defense Minister Abdelkarim Zbidi submitted his candidacy for a presidential election on Sept. 15 as an independent on Wednesday and said he would resign from government.

 

Zbidi, 69, who has the support of secular parties including Nidaa Tounes and Afek Tounes, is likely to emerge as one of the frontrunners in the election, which was called early after the death of president Beji Caid Essebsi last month.

 

Zbidi, a technocrat and medical doctor by training, is considered by many to be above the party politics and infighting that has held back badly-needed economic reforms in Tunisia in recent years.

 

He looks set as the most serious rival to Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, who will run as a candidate for the liberal Tahya Tounes Party.

 

On Tuesday, Tunisia’s biggest political party Ennahda nominated its vice president Abdel Fattah Mourou as a candidate. He is the first presidential nominee from the moderate Islamist party since Tunisia transitioned to democracy after the 2011 uprising that toppled veteran autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

 

After Ben Ali's overthrow in 2011, Zbidi was appointed defense minister until he quit in March 2013 while serving in a cabinet led by Ennahda. In 2017, Chahed re-appointed Zbidi as defense minister.

 

Tunisia’s president controls foreign and defense policy, governing alongside a prime minister chosen by parliament who has authority over domestic affairs.

 
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REUTERS
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